Thursday, November 6, 2008

CONFLICT & TERROR week ending 11/06

Plane crash leaves Mexico interior secretary deadPosted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:46am

One of Mexico's top pointmen in the war against drug trafficking died when a government jet crashed into a Mexico City street, setting fire to dozens of vehicles and dealing crusading President Felipe Calderon a serious blow. Officials said the Tuesday crash appeared to be an accident but the loss of Interior Secretary Juan Camilo Mourino, former anti-drug prosecutor Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos and six others thinned the ranks of Mexico's already embattled leadership. Full Story

Colombian Army Commander Resigns in Scandal Over Killing of CiviliansPosted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:47amThe commander of Colombias army resigned Tuesday after an investigation tied dozens of military personnel under his command to an intensifying scandal over the killing of civilians by the armed forces in what apparently were attempts to inflate the number of insurgents or criminal gang members killed in combat by security forces. The resignation of the commander, Gen. Mario Montoya, 59, an American-trained officer who won acclaim for battlefield achievements during his 39-year career, comes amid a broad shake-up in the Colombian military even as it celebrates a string of victories in recent months against leftist guerrillas. Full Story

Colombian rebels still keen for talks on hostagesPosted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:48amColombia's FARC guerrillas are still open to talking about hostage releases or a prisoner swap after a captive lawmaker escaped with a rebel deserter in new blow to Latin America's oldest insurgency. The FARC has proposed a dialogue with a group of academics, politicians and former captives, fueling hopes of reviving stalled negotiations with President Alvaro Uribe over more than two dozen hostages held in jungle camps. Full Story

D.C. hospital gets 'dirty bomb' sensorsPosted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:48amThe largest private hospital in the nation's capital on Tuesday began installing sophisticated new radiation detectors in an effort to better prepare for a terrorist attack with a radiological "dirty bomb." The sensors, which will be placed out of public view at the 926-bed Washington Hospital Center, will immediately let doctors, nurses and other hospital staff know if someone contaminated with dangerous radiation enters the emergency room or other areas of the hospital. Full Story

Syrian Anger Ebbs as Damascus is Implicated in Deadly U.S. RaidPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:15amThe angry reaction in Damascus that followed an attack on a Syrian village by Iraqi-based U.S. forces is dissipating amid reports that the Syrian authorities may have preapproved the commando operation that apparently went awry. Full Story

Iraqi lawmakers OK provincial council quotas for minoritiesPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:15amIraq's parliament Monday approved quotas guaranteeing minorities a handful of seats on the governing bodies of Iraqi provinces, a move that helped pave the way to regional elections but angered Christians who had demanded greater representation. Full Story

Iraq gets 'positive' signs from US over pactPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:37amA top Shiite lawmaker said on Tuesday that Iraq has received "positive" signals from Washington for the changes which Baghdad proposed to the draft security deal between the two countries. Full Story

Iraq VP proposes referendum on U.S. security pactPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:38amAn agreement allowing U.S. forces to stay in Iraq for three years should be put to the public in a referendum, Iraq's Sunni Arab vice president said on Tuesday. The pact, which will govern the U.S. presence in Iraq after a mandate from the U.N. Security Council expires at year's end, "must not pass without approval from Iraqis," Tareq al-Hashemi, who is one of Iraq's two vice presidents, said in a statement." Full Story

Business Booms Behind Baghdad's Security WallsPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:39amWhen U.S. and Iraqi forces built concrete barriers around the five square miles of his Baghdad neighborhood 10 months ago, Farooq al-Timimi saw a business opportunity. Clashes between Sunni and Shi'ite militias had turned the Saidiyah's commercial strip into a bullet-riddled no man's land, and the favorite local eatery, Sun City, had been shuttered for over a year. Full Story

Pro-Kurdish DTP officials arrested over illegal demonstrations in TurkeyPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:53amTurkey's pro-Kurdish DTP's Istanbul provincial chairman and district chairman, were arrested Tuesday on charges of organizing an illegal demonstration at the weekend, Dogan News Agency reported. Full Story

Turkey, Lebanon sign cooperation deal on terrorism and crimePosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:59amTurkey and Lebanon on Monday signed an accord on cooperation against terrorism, drug-trafficking and organized crime. The deal, details of which were not disclosed, was inked after talks between prime ministers, Fuad Siniora of Lebanon, and Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Full Story

British anti-terror police arrest 19-year-old manPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 11:00amAnti-terrorism police say they have detained a 19-year-old man in northern England. Police say the man was detained in connection with five other arrests earlier this year but declined to give further detail. Full Story

Over thousands of German workers walk off jobsPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 11:01amTens of thousands of workers in Germany's engineering sector are expected to walk off their jobs Monday to stress its demands for an 8 percent pay raise. The strikes, which began Saturday, are to continue through Friday after the IG Metall union rejected an offer of 2.1 percent increased income in 2009 and 0.8 percent rise of annual salaries for the months of Nov. and Dec. Full Story

Naples raids net 88 'gangsters'Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 11:18amItalian police have arrested 88 people in a series of raids targeting the Naples mafia, the Camorra. Among those arrested was Gemma Donnarumma, the wife of Valentino Gionta, a suspected Camorra clan chief who is already behind bars. Full Story

Clashes as Russia marks unity dayPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 2:16pmClashes have broken out across Russia on National Unity Day, after ultra-nationalists defied official bans on holding marches. In Moscow, police arrested at least 200 people, some of whom gave a Nazi salute as they tried to rally in the capital. Full Story

Afghan Officials Aided an Attack on U.S. SoldiersPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 2:18pmAn internal review by the American military has found that a local Afghan police chief and another district leader helped Taliban militants carry out an attack on July 13 in which nine United States soldiers were killed and a remote American outpost in eastern Afghanistan was nearly overrun. Full Story

Suicide bomb at Pakistani post kills one, 9 hurtPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 2:19pmA suicide bomber killed a Pakistani soldier and wounded nine Tuesday, highlighting the growing militant threat a day after the top U.S. commander in the region held security talks with Pakistani leaders. Full Story

Rain stops in Vietnam but flood toll rises to 92Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 7:58amHANOI, Vietnam  Pumps ran nonstop in the Vietnamese capital Wednesday to clear water following the city's worst rainfall in 35 years, in storms that sparked flooding across large sections of the country and left 92 people dead. Life in metropolitan Hanoi was slowly returning to normal after a halt in the rains, with floodwaters receding and residents cleaning up their homes. Full Story

NKorea says Kim Jong Il visits 2 army unitsPosted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 8:06amSEOUL, South Korea  North Korea released a new batch of photographs of Kim Jong Il on Wednesday, apparently seeking to show that the country's absolute leader is not ill and has no problem in running the communist regime. South Korean and U.S. officials suspect that Kim suffered a serious health setback, possibly a stroke, in August. North Korea denies the speculation and has recently released a series of photos and news reports portraying Kim as active and healthy. Full Story

Chinese warship pays first visit to CambodiaPosted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 8:38amSIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (AFP)  The Chinese navy's Zheng He became the first warship from the country to dock in Cambodia when it arrived Wednesday, signalling deeper military cooperation between the two nations. The ship, which carries more than 400 military personnel, will remain at Sihanoukville in the former communist country until the weekend, said a Chinese embassy statement after the Zheng He docked in Cambodia's main sea port. Full Story

Japan ex-defense official convicted in briberyPosted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 8:51amTOKYO  A Japanese court sentenced a former senior defense official to 2 1/2 years in prison Wednesday for accepting bribes in exchange for his recommendation in government arms contracts, a court official said. Former Vice-Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya was also ordered to pay 12.5 million yen ($125,400) in penalties  the value of the gifts and entertainment he pocketed, the Tokyo District Court official said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy. Full Story

North Korea building base for bigger missilesPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:05amA new North Korean missile launch site under construction is designed to fire rockets even more advanced than those already capable of reaching the western U.S., South Korea said Tuesday. South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee told parliament that construction on the new site on North Korea's west coast began eight years ago and is about 80 percent complete. The site in the village of Dongchang-ni appears to be designed to launch "a bigger-sized missile or satellite projectile" than rockets deployed from the North's east coast facility. Full Story

2 bombs in southern Thailand wound 71Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:06amSuspected Muslim insurgents detonated two bombs at a tea stall and shopping area Tuesday in insurgency-wracked southern Thailand, killing one person and wounding at least 71, police said. It was the largest attack in several months in Thailand's restive south, which has been gripped by a Muslim insurgency since 2004. The first blast appeared to target a meeting of 300 village chiefs and local officials from Narathiwat province who were leaving their monthly meeting when the explosion occurred in the building's parking lot, said police chief Maj. Gen. Surachai Suebsuk. The bomb was hidden inside a parked car. Full Story

Threat as Bali bombers face deathPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:07amThe US and Australian embassies in Indonesia have received bomb threats, as three Bali bombers await execution. A US embassy spokesman said the threats were being taken seriously and staff were working closely with police. Police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira said the threat was sent via a telephone text message to police, as was a hoax threat received on Monday. Full Story

Breakaway Tamil Tigers 'disarm'Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:09amA breakaway group of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers will be disarmed within months and integrated into the security forces, its leader has announced. Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan, widely known as Colonel Karuna, said that the rehabilitation of former cadres under his command had already begun. The former senior Tamil Tiger leader broke away from the rebels in 2004. Full Story

Two top state police officers slain in MexicoPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:33amA police commander was ambushed by gunmen as he left home early Monday, becoming the 12th officer slain in the central state of Mexico in five days. The spate of killings has claimed state and municipal officers in half a dozen cities and towns since Thursday. Full Story

Gunmen kill Mexican police chief in border cityPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:34amGunmen killed a state police chief in the border city of Nogales and three police detectives in central Guanajuato state, as a wave of drug-related violence batters Mexican security forces, authorities said Monday. In Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, authorities on Monday found the bullet-riddled bodies of six men in a vegetable warehouse along with more than 100 shell casings from assault rifles. Full Story

Payments to Informants in Colombia RevealedPosted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:35amThe Drug Enforcement Administration has paid more than $3.3 million to four confidential informants in an investigation that led to the arrest of a man prosecutors called an international arms dealer, according to court documents. The man, Monzer al-Kassar, and a co-defendant, Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy, are scheduled to go on trial this week in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Full Story

1 kidnapped Chinese found alive in SudanPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 8:06amKHARTOUM, Sudan  China's ambassador to Khartoum says Sudanese authorities have found one of the kidnapped Chinese oil workers alive in southwestern Sudan. Li Chengwen says the man was not injured and is on his way to the capital. He gave no more details. Full Story

Official: Suicide blast kills 8 in NW PakistanPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 8:07amPESHAWAR, Pakistan  A suicide bomber attacked the convoy of a regional police chief in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing three police officers and five civilians, officials said. The attacker, who was on foot, hit the first vehicle in the convoy as it emerged from the police chief's residence in the city of Mardan. District mayor Himayat Ali said eight people died and another 15 were wounded. Full Story

Death toll in China coal mine rises to 23Posted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 8:12amBEIJING  The death toll in a mine explosion in northern China this week has risen to 23, with six others missing and presumed dead, state media said Friday. The official Xinhua News Agency said rescuers found 20 more bodies Friday afternoon at the Yaotou mine in Shaanxi province. Thirty-six miners were in the pit at the time of the gas explosion Wednesday, and only seven managed to escape, the report said. Full Story

Sri Lanka claims bombing key Sea Tiger hideoutPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 9:16amCOLOMBO (AFP)  Sri Lanka's air force on Friday bombed a suspected hideout of a top Tamil Tiger rebel while ground forces kept up a major offensive, the defence ministry said. Jet aircraft pounded a base of the "Sea Tiger" chief known as Soosai, the ministry said. It did not say if there were casualties. Full Story

Ecuador alleges 'clear' signs of CIA infiltrationPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 9:34amAn Ecuadorean presidential commission has concluded that U.S. intelligence services infiltrated the Andean nation's military and police and supported a cross-border incursion by Colombian troops that killed a top rebel commander. Following the attack on a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia camp inside Ecuador on March 1, President Rafael Correa accused the CIA of infiltrating his nation's intelligence services and appointed a commission to investigate. Full Story

Dominicans mull shooting drug-laden boats, planesPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 9:34amLegislators are debating a proposal that would let Dominican authorities shoot at drug-laden planes and boats that refuse to land or dock when ordered, despite threats from the U.S. to suspend anti-drug efforts if the law is approved. The proposal received preliminary approval late last year and senators are expected to debate it by year's end. Congress leader Julio Cesar Valentin urged lawmakers to approve the law and accused the United States - whose forces fire on suspected drug boats and flights - of "meddling" when it sent letters warning them of the consequences. Full Story

UN chief urges Hezbollah to be political partyPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 9:58amU.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants Syria and Iran to support the transformation of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group from an armed militia to a political party, a U.N. envoy said Thursday. Full Story

Settlers say they can prove possession of disputed buildingPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 9:59amThe attorney representing the alleged Jewish purchasers of a four-story building in Hebron declined on Thursday to respond to a question posed by the court the previous day. Instead, he submitted new evidence which he claimed proved not only that the Jewish company bought the building, but was also in possession of it when dozens of settlers occupied it in March 2007. Full Story

Israel demolishes dozens of West Bank shacksPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:00amThe Israeli army knocked down shacks in a West Bank village for the second straight day Thursday, leaving dozens of Palestinian Bedouin homeless, a United Nations official said. Full Story

Gaza crossings reopen after Kassam attack proved falsePosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:01amDefense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the crossings for the transferal of goods between Israel and Gaza reopened on Thursday, after an alleged Kassam rocket attack proved to be false. Earlier, it was feared that Palestinians had violated the fragile truce with Israel once more by firing a Kassam rocket from the Gaza Strip at the western Negev town of Sderot. Full Story

Shas source warns against NetanyahuPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:02amIt would be a mistake for Shas to forge close ties with Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud, a senior Shas source said Wednesday, dousing rumors of a Shas-Likud alliance heading into the election season. Full Story

Egypt eyes Mideast Quartet meeting Nov 9Posted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:03amEgypt is planning to host a meeting of the Middle East peace Quartet on November 9, the same day Palestinian groups begin reconciliation talks in Cairo, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday. Full Story

For War Widows, Hamas Recruits Army of HusbandsPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:05amThe grooms were resplendent in white shirts while the brides all wore black. At a sports stadium one recent October evening, thousands of Palestinians  300 newly married couples along with relatives and friends  gathered for a mass wedding celebration, the 10th here this year courtesy of Hamas. Full Story

6 Belgians die in bus accident in south EgyptPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:05amA tourist bus overturned in southern Egypt, killing six Belgian tourists and injuring 26 other Belgian passengers early Friday, a security official said. The bus was en route from the southern city of Aswan to the ancient temple at Abu Simbel, a famous tourist attraction, the official said. He added that the driver was speeding and lost control, veering off the road and causing the bus to overturn several times. Full Story

Iraq gov't wants all US troops gone by end of 2011Posted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:06amIraq wants to eliminate any chance U.S. forces will stay here after 2011 under a proposed security pact and to expand Iraqi legal jurisdiction over U.S. troops until then, a close ally of the prime minister said Thursday. Full Story

Israel's Olmert to push for more Syria talksPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:07amIsrael's outgoing prime minister hopes to hold another round of peace talks with Syria even though elections are pending and he has only a few months remaining in office, officials said Friday. Israel and Syria have been holding indirect talks through Turkish mediators, but the contacts have been suspended for months because of political upheaval in Israel. Full Story

Austrian hostages freed in MaliPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:08amTwo Austrian hostages held for months by Islamic militants in the Sahara desert have been freed, officials in Mali and Austria say. The two, Andrea Kloiber, 43, and Wolfgang Ebner, 51, disappeared in February while on holiday in Tunisia. Full Story

Syrians stage mass anti-US rallyPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:09amThousands of people have marched through Damascus in protest at an alleged US raid on a village that Syria says killed eight people. Full Story

Glasgow flight skids off runwayPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:09amPassengers on a Thomas Cook chartered flight from Glasgow have escaped injury after their plane skidded off the runway at Lanzarote airport. Full Story

Eurozone inflation falls to 3.2%Posted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:09amInflation across the 15 nations that share the euro fell to an annual rate of 3.2% in October, raising the chances of a cut in interest rates next week. Full Story

Baghdad commuter rail skirts traffic, checkpointsPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:09amBaghdad commuters have a new way to bypass the city's checkpoints and congested, dusty streets with the launch of a commuter rail that travels 15 miles through Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in the heart of the capital. Full Story

Kurds seen behind attacks on ChristiansPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:10amKurdish involvement is suspected in the recent wave of violence against Christians in Mosul, Gulf News has learnt. "Investigations have been completed and proved the involvement of Kurdish militias in the displacement and killing of Christians," Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki reportedly said during a discussion with Iraqi lawmakers, according to Osama Al Nojaifi, a deputy in the Iraqi parliament. Full Story

Berlin to limit anti-terrorist cooperationPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:12amThe US led anti-terrorist campaign, Operation Enduring Freedom, will have to cope with reduced assistance from Berlin. Berlin -- The German cabinet agreed on Wednesday to limit the country's future contribution to the US led anti-terrorism campaign known as Operation Enduring Freedom (O.E.F), reducing forces from 1,400 to 800, the Defence Ministry said. Full Story

Suspected US missile strike kills 15 in PakistanPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 11:54amIntelligence officials say a suspected US missile strike has killed 15 people in northwest Pakistan. Full Story

Latin American, Caribbean Markets Struggle With World EconomyPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 1:06pmA new report says Latin America and the Caribbean will feel the impact of the global economic slowdown in lower demand for commodities and less money sent home by family members working elsewhere. The report was released Monday at this year's meeting in Mexico City of the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.Full_Story

Dominican Republic Deports Hundreds of Haitians Following ViolencePosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 1:11pmDominican authorities say 476 Haitian immigrants have been deported following a violent incident in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. The repatriation comes after an attack earlier in the week in the municipality of Neiba in which a Haitian immigrant allegedly stabbed and killed a Dominican man to steal his motorcycle. Dozens of locals attacked Haitian immigrants in retaliation, killing two and injuring nine others.Full_Story

Mexico Buys Back Government Debt to Ease LiquidityPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 1:16pmMexico moved to inject cash into its financial markets Thursday, saying it will buy back $3 billion in government bonds. Mexican finance officials made the announcement Thursday, saying the country will buy back the 10 to 30-year fixed rate bonds in order to strengthen liquidity in the cash-squeezed markets.Full_Story

The Worst ChoicePosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 1:20pmCuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro stated that developed capitalism hopes to continue plundering the world, as if the world could still stand it. In his Friday article entitled "The Worst Choice," Fidel Castro analyzes the consequences of the new line of credit created by the US Federal Reserve, warning that this way the economic power of the US currency is consolidated, a privilege granted to Bretton Woods.Full_Story

Bolivia Awaits US Trade RulingPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 1:22pmBolivians are awaiting the US government decision on widening the scope of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Facing suspension of benefits after the US Congress had authorized a six-month extension of the act for Bolivia and a year for Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, the Bolivian government said the decision is influenced by politics.

Raul Castro Welcomes Brazil PresidentPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 1:26pmuban President Raul Castro welcomed at the International Conference Center his Brazilian peer Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is carrying out a working visit to the island. After arriving at the "Jose Marti International Airport Thursday afternoon, the two statesmen held their first meeting. Full_Story

Ecuador alleges 'clear' signs of CIA infiltrationPosted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 1:46pmAn Ecuadorian presidential commission has concluded that U.S. intelligence services infiltrated the Andean nation's military and police and supported a cross-border incursion by Colombian troops that killed a top rebel commander. Following the attack on a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia camp inside Ecuador on March 1, President Rafael Correa accused the CIA of infiltrating his nation's intelligence services and appointed a commission to investigate.Full_Story

Cyprus talks resume amid mistrustPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 7:57amCyprus' rival leaders have resumed talks on re-unifying the island, amid growing public pessimism that the negotiations could lead to a deal. Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met in the UN buffer zone to discuss power-sharing plans. Full Story

Kurdish protests at Erdogan visitPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 7:58amTurkish police have clashed with demonstrators protesting against a visit by PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the country's restive south-east region. About 3,000 people took to the streets in the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province, close to the Iraqi border. Full Story

Spain: government announces mortgage aidPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 8:00amSpain's government has unveiled a plan to help families struggling to make their mortgage payments and reward businesses that hire new workers amid the financial crisis. Full Story

UN accuses Colombian forces of killing civiliansPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 8:36amColombia's security forces are engaged in "widespread and systematic" killings of civilians that could constitute a crime against humanity, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said at the weekend. Navi Pillay, speaking in Bogota at the close of a fact-finding mission, said it was up to Colombia's government to investigate the killings but that international bodies could step in if it was "unable or unwilling" to do so. Full Story

US drug agents are spies, says BoliviaPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 8:38amEvo Morales, Bolivias leftwing president, has suspended the operations of US drug enforcement agency officials, accusing them of espionage. The move is the latest in a tit-for-tat decline in relations that has seen Bolivia expel the US ambassador and the US suspend critical trade preferences that could cost the Andean nation tens of thousands of jobs. Full Story

Chavez says to expropriate banks if financial crisis hits VenezuelaPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:04amVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday he would expropriate the country's banks if the current financial crisis hits his country. "If something similar comes to pass in Venezuela, you should not have the slightest doubt that I won't give a penny to the banks -- I'll expropriate them," said Chavez in the southeastern state of Barinas. Full Story

Persian Gulf States Asked to Increase Global Bailout FinancingPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:09amPrime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain on Sunday urged Persian Gulf nations to help bolster the International Monetary Funds bailout capacity, as leaders around the world spent another weekend trying to extinguish the brush fires of the economic crisis. Full Story

Hundreds of Palestinians hold protest in HebronPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:10amHundreds of Palestinians staged a protest in the center of Hebron, witnesses said Sunday afternoon. The demonstrators were calling on Hebron residents to reclaim the downtown area where IDF troops guard several Jewish enclaves. Full Story

New Arab Knesset party in the makingPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:11amA new Arab political party is emerging that plans to deal specifically with the problems of the Arab sector and promote its advancement ahead of February 10's general elections. Full Story

Egypt dismisses Lieberman's warning of warPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:12amEgyptian government officials and political experts dismissed comments made over the weekend by Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman that suggested that Cairo is merely waiting for an opportunity to start a war with Israel. Full Story

'Understandings' still in reach despite looming electionsPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:13amFuture Movement leader Saad Hariri said on Sunday that the competition between his March 14 coalition and the March 8 grouping in next year's parliamentary elections would not eliminate the possibility of "political understandings" between the two camps. Full Story

Hizbullah slams Israel's plan to build museum on Muslim gravesPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:14amHizbullah lashed out at Israel on Sunday for allowing the construction of a so-called "Museum of Tolerance" on the site of a Muslim cemetery in Occupied Jerusalem. Full Story

In Iraq's Diyala Province, US forces anticipate exitPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:15amThe US is actively transferring ownership of Iraq's troubled Diyala Province, using a tough-love approach to force Iraq to take on greater control ahead of any deal that would put limits on the American military next year. Full Story

Barak: Livni 'honest' but unfit to leadPosted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:16amTwo weeks after signing a coalition agreement with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, Labor chairman Ehud Barak said on Saturday that she is unfit to lead the country. Trailing Kadima and Likud by as much as 20 Knesset seats in the polls, Barak has gone on the offensive and challenged Livni and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu to debates. Full Story

Syrian riot police form ring around U.S. EmbassyPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:16amHundreds of Syrian riot police ringed the closed U.S. Embassy here Thursday as tens of thousands of people gathered about a mile away for a government-orchestrated protest to denounce a deadly U.S. raid near the Iraqi border. Full Story

Car bomb explodes near Spanish universityPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:17amA car bomb exploded in a car park near the University of Navarre in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona on Thursday, a regional government official said. Full Story

Report: Turkish ship hijacked off SomaliaPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:36amPirates have hijacked a Turkish freighter carrying 20 crew members and a load of iron ore in the waters off Somalia, Turkey's maritime authorities said Thursday. Full Story

Suicide attack at Afghan ministryPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:49amA suicide bomber has blown himself up inside an Afghan ministry in Kabul, killing himself and four other people. A further 23 people were wounded in the attack, police say, which took place at the information and culture ministry in the centre of the capital. The building was badly damaged, with broken glass and office equipment scattered over the area. Full Story

Japan unveils stimulus package, stock soar after US rate cutPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:51amJapan's Prime Minister Taro Aso on Thursday unveiled a 277 billion dollar package to stimulate the world's second largest economy as stock markets soared off the back of an interest rate cut in the US. As a slew of disappointing company results attested to the impact of the global financial crisis, the French government said that economic growth had slowed dramatically while house prices in Britain slumped by record levels. There was better news however in Europe's largest economy, with Germany's unemployment rate dropping below three million for the first time in 16 years. Full Story

At least 56 killed in blasts in northeast IndiaPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:53amA series of coordinated blasts tore through India's volatile northeast on Thursday, killing at least 56 people, wounding more than 300 and setting police on a frantic search for any unexploded bombs, officials said. One bomb exploded near the office of the Assam state's top government official in the largest blast, leaving bodies and mangled cars and motorcycles strewn across the road.

Bystanders dragged the wounded and dead to cars that took them to hospitals. Police officers covered the burned remains of the dead with white sheets, leaving them in the street. Full Story

Thai protests for Thaksin returnPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 8:02amThousands of anti-government protesters in Thailand have been rallying outside the British embassy to press for the extradition of Thaksin Shinawatra. The former prime minister was convicted in absentia last week of violating conflict of interest rules. Tension between pro and anti-government groups has been heightened by a grenade attack on Thursday morning, targeting guards for the anti-government camp. Full Story

Taiwan president says he will meet Chinese envoyPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 8:05amTaiwan's leader said he will meet with a top Chinese envoy next week in his role as the island's president, as he attempts to allay fears that such high-level contacts will compromise Taiwan's sovereignty. Ma Ying-jeou's comments, made in a television interview Wednesday, were part of the government's media campaign ahead of a visit by Chen Yunlin, chairman of the mainland's semiofficial Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait. Chen's visit, which begins Monday, was clouded when a deputy was attacked by protesters in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan during an informal visit last week. The deputy was lightly injured and left Taiwan two days early. Full Story

Seventeen wounded by Spanish university car bombPosted on
Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:03amA car bomb exploded in a University of Navarre car park in northern Spain on Thursday, slightly wounding 17 people, after a warning call in the name of Basque separatist rebels ETA, the government said. Full Story

UK: Explosives plot ex-soldier jailedPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:07amA former soldier has been jailed for six-and-a-half years for his part in a plot to sell Army explosives to associates in the criminal underworld. Unemployed Andrew Quinn, 26, of Glasgow, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to possess explosives. Full Story

Beilin to quit Israeli politicsPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:32amThe veteran left-wing Israeli politician, Yossi Beilin, has said he will retire from political life after the general election due in February. Full Story

Syrians gather at US Embassy to protest raidPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:33amHundreds of Syrian riot police ringed the closed US Embassy in Damascus on Thursday as tens of thousands of people gathered about a mile away for a government-orchestrated protest to denounce a deadly US raid near the Iraqi border. Full Story

Warning on 'dire' Iraq conditionsPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:36amThe Red Cross is warning that despite some improvements in security in Iraq, the condition of the country's infrastructure remains dire. Full Story

Militants fire rocket from GazaPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:37amPalestinian militants have fired a rocket at Israel from the Gaza Strip, in violation of a four-month-old truce. Full Story

US commander wants better police for Iraqi cityPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:39amA senior U.S. commander, acknowledging that Iraq's now most violent city has been neglected for too long, says that only well-trained police rather than military forces could ensure Mosul's long-term security. Full Story

Blast near Baghdad market kills 1Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:41amA car bomb exploded Thursday near a market in north Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five, police said. U.S. and Iraqi troops sealed off the area near the Tobchi market shortly after the blast, which occurred about 11 a.m. Full Story

Relaxed lifestyles show Baghdad extremists waningPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:44amEngineering student Haifaa Salman has discarded the Islamic head cover she started wearing two years ago after militants threatened to "punish" her if she kept showing up at college with her hair uncovered. Full Story

Israel sets election date of Feb. 10Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 9:44amIsrael's parliament speaker has set national elections for Feb. 10. Benny Shahino, a spokesman for speaker Dalia Itzik, says she has informed parliamentary officials of the election date. Full Story

Italian Public Schools Close as Teachers Strike, Students RiotPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 10:48amItalian schools closed their doors today as teachers began a national strike and marched side by side with angry students to protest cuts in education funding. Full Story

Colombia fires 20 army officers over civilian deathsPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 3:07pmReporting from Bogota, Colombia -- The Colombian Defense Ministry fired 20 army officers Wednesday, including three generals, in connection with the deaths of a dozen youths who allegedly were killed and falsely identified as guerrillas slain in combat. The firings revolve around the disappearance over the last year of youths from Bogota's Soacha suburb, a sprawling working-class neighborhood rife with crime and unemployment. Full_Story

41 people allegedly linked to Mexican drug cartels are indictedPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 3:11pmFederal authorities in Atlanta announced grand jury indictments Wednesday against 41 people allegedly connected to violent Mexican drug cartels, including a former deputy sheriff from Texas stopped with nearly $1 million in cash hidden in his pickup on a Georgia highway. The trafficking operation moved hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana from the Southwest border to Atlanta, authorities said. It also involved extensive money laundering operations in which millions of dollars in drug proceeds allegedly were funneled through U.S. banks back to Mexico. Full_Story

Cuba expects new US president to lift embargoPosted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 3:30pmCuba's foreign minister says his government expects the next U.S. president to respond to overwhelming international demand and lift the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. After the U.N. General Assembly supported repeal of the economic and commercial embargo by its highest margin ever - 185 to 3 with 2 abstentions - on Wednesday, Felipe Perez Roque said in an interview that the winner of the Nov. 4 election should heed the message.Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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